International Justice Mission (IJM) welcomes the introduction of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act of 2021 (H.R. 5150). The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA), increases funding and strengthens existing laws to prevent human trafficking, protect survivors, and prosecute perpetrators.
This legislation is the sixth iteration of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, also introduced by Representative Smith, a longtime leader in the fight against human trafficking.
“Today, we combat the scourge of sex and labor trafficking – modern-day slavery – and rededicate ourselves to abolishing it,” said Representative Smith.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Representatives Smith and Bass, as well as members of the Senate, to craft a reauthorization that expands the tools of the U.S. government to provide services to survivors of trafficking and hold perpetrators accountable – both here in the United States and around the world,” said Nate King, National Director, U.S. Advocacy at IJM.
IJM particularly applauds the legislation for extending the authorization of the U.S. Department of State’s Program to End Modern Slavery and the increase in authorized funding for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office).
“The TIP Office leads the U.S. government’s diplomatic efforts to combat human trafficking around the world,” continued King. “It is critical for the success of the office that it is properly staffed and resourced. The foreign assistance programs administered by the TIP Office provide essential services for survivors of human trafficking, as well as building the capacity of country governments to enforce their laws and protect their citizens from exploitation. IJM is grateful that this legislation recognizes the TIP Office’s essential role in US leadership to combat trafficking and prioritizes this funding.”
IJM also encourages the Biden Administration to immediately nominate an Ambassador-at-Large to lead the TIP Office, a position created by the TVPA.
“President Biden should move with haste to nominate an Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and ensure the U.S. continues to prioritize the fight against human trafficking,” said King. “As Congress works to reauthorize the protections and programs enshrined in the TVPA, we need permanent anti-trafficking leadership at the State Department.”
About International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission is a global organization that protects people in poverty from violence. IJM partners with local authorities in 24 program offices in 14 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and other forms of abuse against people who are poor. IJM works to rescue and restore victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and help strengthen public justice systems. Learn more at www.IJM.org.